Editorial


In This Rape Center, the Patient Was 3

 

Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
October 8, 2011

 

In a rape treatment center here, I met a 3-year-old patient named Jessica, who was cuddling a teddy bear.

Jessica had seemed sick and was losing weight, but she wouldn’t say what was wrong. Her mother took her to a clinic, and a doctor ferreted out the truth. She had been raped and was infected with gonorrhea.

As I stood in the rape center corridor, reeling from the encounter with Jessica, a 4-year-old girl was brought in for treatment. She, too, turned out to have been infected with a sexually transmitted disease in the course of a rape. Also in the center that day were a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old, along with older girls.

Sexual violence is a public health crisis in much of the world, and women and girls ages 15 to 44 are more likely to be maimed or killed by men than by malaria, cancer, war or traffic accidents combined, according to a 2005 study. Such violence remains a significant problem in the United States, but it’s particularly prevalent in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia or Congo that have endured civil war. The pattern is that after peace arrives, men stop shooting each other but continue to rape women and girls at staggering rates — and often at staggeringly young ages.

 

To read the full piece in The New York Times, click here.

 

 

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman Photo: Los Angeles Times

Liberia’s Leymah Gbowee: The Power of the Powerless

Carol Mithers
Los Angeles Times
October 9, 2011

Friday morning, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee — along with her country’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Yemeni activist Tawakul Karman — was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. A decade ago, this moment would have seemed unthinkable. But Gbowee’s triumph, like last spring’s Arab uprisings, is a powerful reminder that in the 21st century world, change often comes from the bottom — not from a country’s armies but its people.

In 2001, Liberia was in the grip of a civil war that had been going on for years and that had decimated the country. More than 100,000 people had died, many of them children, and countless women had been raped. As many as a third of Liberians had been displaced. Much of the country’s infrastructure — its sewage and electrical system, roads, hospitals and schools — lay in ruins. Thousands of boys had been pressed into fighting for one side or another, fed liquor and drugs and turned into killers.

To read the full column in The Los Angeles Times, click here.

Carol Mithers is a Los Angeles Journalist and the coauthor, with Leymah Gbowee, of the memoir “Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War.”http://www.mightybeourpowers.com

US military helicopters flying in Okinawa near the Futenma Air Base (PressTV)

Future of Okinawa Base Strains U.S. – Japanese Alliance

Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
January 24, 2010

The people of Okinawa and the U.S. Marine Corps agree on at least one thing: The Futenma Marine air station is a noisy dinosaur that needs to move elsewhere — and soon.

Smack in the middle of this densely packed city of 92,000 and taking up about a quarter of its land, the air base torments its neighbors with the howl of combat helicopters and the shudder of C-130 transport planes.

“The noise is unbearable,” said Harumi Chinen, principal of Futenma No. 2 Elementary School, where about 780 children study in buildings next to the airfield. “A school should be very comforting and safe. That is not the case here.”

To read the full story at the Washington Post web site, click here.

For additional reporting on the situation in Okinawa, click the links below.

Edano Visits Futenma Airfield,   The Japan Times Online,  January 23, 2011

F-15 Drills Moving to Guam from Okinawa,  The Yomiuri Shimbun,  January 21, 2011

Gates Eases Up on Okinawa Base Relocation,  UPI.com, January 14, 2011

Okinawa U.S. Marine Base Angers Residents and Governor,   Huffington Post, Stephen Nessen, January 4, 2011

Betsy Kawamura
usmvaw.com Guest Author

January 22, 2011

usmvaw.com is pleased to welcome Betsy Kawamura as a guest author to present her extensive piece on “A,” a survivor of gender-based violence (GBV).  ”A,” is an Asian American woman who had been subjected to gender-based violence as a young child in Okinawa in the early 1970’s by a Caucasian middle-aged male during the height of the Vietnam War.

Read Betsy’s article, The Journey of Recovering from Gender-Based Violence: The Ecstasy of Triumph and the Agony of Defeat on usmvaw.com by clicking here.

Gates Agrees to Proposal to Repeal Gay Ban

 

The Associated Press
May 25, 2010

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For additional information on this issue, please refer to the following reports:

Brown Says No to Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask’   Boston Globe, May 26, 2010

Editorial: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Compromise Good, But Not Good Enough  Los Angeles Times, May 26, 2010

Rep. Murphy: Dems Have The Votes For DADT Repeal  TPM, May 25, 2010

The Text of Lieberman’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal  The Washington Independent,  May 25, 2010

White House Green-lights DADT Repeal   The Advocate, May 24, 2010

The Rachel Maddow Show – MSNBC,  May 24, 2010

Hatoyama, Obama to Talk on Futenma Air Base

 

Vinay Sarawagi and Roshni Menon
Reuters
May 25, 2010

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will speak with President Barack Obama over the phone Thursday to discuss relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, the Kyodo news agency said.

Hatoyama and Obama’s talks will revolve around relocating the air station, which is in Okinawa Prefecture, to a coastal zone of the Marines’ Camp Schwab, also in the prefecture, the news agency said.

Ahead of the talks, the two governments may release a joint statement centering on agreements to build a replacement facility for the airfield in the Henoko district in Nago and reach a decision on the relocation plan by September, the news agency said it learned from Japan-U.S. diplomatic sources.

To read the full story at the Reuters web page, click here.

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For additional information on this issue, please refer to the following reports:

EDITORIAL: Obama to Okinawa: Abandon Hope and Change  Washington Times, May 25, 2010

Okinawa Decision Has Missile Defense Element   Aviation Week,  May 25, 2010

Fukushima’s Okinawa Trip Makes Waves   The Japan Times,  May 25, 2010

With Its Record of Rape, Don’t Send the U.S. Military to the Congo

 
By Ann Wright
Huffington Post
August 21, 2009
 

On Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s August, 2009 trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), she announced $17 million in new funding in the U.S. Government’s contribution to international efforts to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in the DRC.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the coordinating agency for work on sexual violence in Congo, estimates that 200,000 women and girls have been the victims of sexual violence since 1998. In 2008, UNFPA recorded that nearly 16,000 women and girls had been raped in the Congo. 65 percent of the victims were children, mostly adolescent girls.

To read the full article at the Huffington Post, click here.

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